Volume 4, Number 12 - June 17, 2004
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$2 billion valuation
Sublette County Assessor Janet L. Montgomery announced Tuesday that the final numbers are in: Sublette County's assessed value now totals $2,039,132,508. That means when the county goes to taxing this budget year, each mill will be worth $2 million.
LaBarge Creek Road
Sublette County Commission Chairman Gordon Johnston said Tuesday that the commission would be attending a dinner meeting at the Timberline Restaurant in LaBarge on July 6. The meeting will be held to discuss the LaBarge Creek Road. Also slated to attend, Johnston said, are the Lincoln County Commissioners, Mark Booth of the Kemmerer Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest and Martin Hudson of the Bureau of Land Management.
The Sublette County Commission announced that Rick Hoffman has been hired as the new Sublette County Waste Management Supervisor. Hoffman has significant landfill experience in Colorado, the commission said, adding that he'll begin the job in early July. Although the commission discussed the possibility of placing the county's two recycling programs under Hoffman's supervision, no decision has been made on that matter.
Questar's proposal for year-round drilling on multiple-well pads on the Mesa will soon be the subject of a National Environmental Policy Act planning process. According to Bill Lanning of the Bureau of Land Management, although no timeline has been established for the process, the issuance of a press release or scoping document seeking public input will occur in the near future. Lanning said the BLM will prepare an environmental assessment for the proposal. If the EA identifies significant impacts of the proposal, then the agency will move forward with preparation of an environmental impact statement, he said.
The Bureau of Land Management has tentative plans to release the draft environmental impact statement for the Jonah Field infill development proposal in mid-August, according to Carol Kruse of the BLM.
The U.S. Department of the Interior has announced the membership and schedule for the newly re-created Pinedale Anticline Working Group. The group plans to meet on July 12 and Aug. 11, with both meetings to be held in the Pinedale Library, beginning at 9 a.m. The meetings are open to the public. Representing the State of Wyoming will be Mary Flanderka, Nylla Kunard of the Town of Pinedale, Robin Smith of Casper representing the oil and gas industry operators, Bob Reese representing Sublette County government, Linda Baker representing environmental interests, Susan Kramer representing private landowners and Paul Hagenstein representing the livestock industry. In addition, two at-large members were appointed: Kirby Hedrick and Robert Barrett.
Public discussion of West Nile Virus in Wyoming just got a new twist: does coalbed methane development increase the incidence of the disease? Last year, research conducted by a University of Montana professor found several sage grouse near coalbed methane development areas that had died of West Nile Virus. Environmental groups that had filed a lawsuit challenging the BLM's allowance of coalbed methane development in the Powder River Basin amended their complaint to add the allegation that coalbed methane discharge ponds are creating stagnant water sources, which provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes and thus increase the spread of the West Nile Virus in a formerly arid landscape.
Coalbed methane producers are working with state officials and landowners on mosquito abatement, while several research efforts are investigating the matter further.
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